Bayern Munich will seek to get off the mark with a win away to UEFA Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga season opener.
German champions Bayern Munich will kick off their title defence when they travel to the Deutsche Bank Park to take on Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday night in the 2022/23 Bundesliga curtain raiser.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side are coming off the back of a busy summer that saw them make several transfers. Ace striker Robert Lewandowski might have moved on, but Sadio Mane have arrived to write a new chapter in the illustrious history of the Bavarian giants.
Bayern Munich have been the dominant force in German football for a decade now, winning ten Bundesliga titles on the spin. They will once again start the new season as the favourites for the title. Given the reinforcements that were made this summer. Anything less would be disastrous.
In Eintracht Frankfurt, they are faced with an opponent who can give them a proper test on opening day. Oliver Glasner’s side are coming off the back of a memorable 2021/22 season that saw them being crowned UEFA Europa League champions. They will be high on confidence and will be keen to add another feather in their cap against Bayern Munich.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) August 4, 2022
Die Adler are capable of springing a surprise on their day and will be dogged opponents on their own turf. Upsetting the defending champions on the opening day would be an excellent way to kick off the 2022/23 league campaign. Both Nagelsmann and Glasner have done well in the German top flight in recent years and are proponents of exciting football that can serve a treat.
In many ways, given how both sides have fared against each other over the last three seasons, we could not have asked for a saucier opening fixture. The Hard Tackle now takes a look at how both teams could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.
Team News & Tactics
🗣 Oliver Glasner: "Playing in the opening game in prime time against the reigning German champions – what more could you want as a football fan?"#BundesligaIsback #SGE #SGEFCB pic.twitter.com/E0vNlLqtkX
— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) August 4, 2022
The Eagles are coming off a season that saw them conquer Europe by winning the UEFA Europa League but fall short in the Bundesliga. Oliver Glasner could only engineer an 11th-placed finish in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt last season, but it is perhaps understandable given their exertions on the continental stage.
The 47-year-old led VfL Wolfsburg to a fourth-placed finish before moving to Eintracht Frankfurt. Glasner has proven himself to be an astute tactician and will be keen to ensure his side does their talent justice in the league this term.
It has been a decent summer for Die Adler, who kept their trophy-winning side intact and have also retained the services of Filip Kostic despite serious interest from West Ham United. The 29-year-old is likely to be key against Bayern Munich’s wingers and could set the tone for what is to come on the night.
Eintracht Frankfurt will be without Jerome Onguene and Aurelio Buta. The former is recovering from a thigh injury, while the latter continues dealing with a knee issue. Hrvoje Smolcic is suspended, while Sebastian Rode is a doubt. Glasner has an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from and will have an idea of who to put faith in, given the convincing 4-0 win over FC Magdeburg in the DFB Pokal first round.
He is likely to deploy the side in a 3-4-2-1 system, with Kevin Trapp in goal. The veteran goalkeeper will be protected by a back three of Evan Ndicka, Tuta and Almamy Toure. Filip Kostic and Ansgar Knauff are likely to start in the wing-back positions and could hold the key to the night’s result.
Bayern Munich are blessed with pacy wingers and will cause Eintracht Frankfurt issues on the flank. Kostic and Knauff might need to drop deep, converting the formation to a 5-4-1 when not in possession. Djibril Sow and Rode, if declared fit, will be tasked with holding the fort in midfield and could act as cover when Eintracht Frankfurt’s wing-backs push higher up.
Jesper Lindstrom and former Bayern Munich star Mario Gotze will be tasked with providing Lucas Alario with the ammunition to find the back of the net. Just how well they can nullify the Bayern Munich midfield could help dictate the pace of the game.
The Eagles showed last season that they can go toe to toe against the best teams in Europe and put up a real fight. More so, they have won a few games against Bayern Munich over the last three years, something that not many teams in the Bundesliga can lay claim to. The fixture has every reason to be considered a banana skin for the defending champions.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Trapp; Ndicka, Tuta, Toure; Kostic, Sow, Rode, Knauff; Lindstrom, Gotze; Alario
Bayern Munich got their 2022/23 campaign off to a flyer with a 5-2 win over RB Leipzig in the DFL Super Cup. Julian Nagelsmann’s side raced to a quick 3-0 lead but also showcased their defensive frailties. They will hope that new signing Matthijs de Ligt will help plug that void.
Nagelsmann’s men are coming off the back of a three-game winless streak in the Bundesliga and will need to get their title defence off to a winning start. A trip to the Waldstadion has proven to be Bayern’s kryptonite, as they have suffered 23 losses there. This represents the joint-most the club has lost at an away venue in their history alongside Borussia Monchengladbach’s Borussia Park.
Bayern Munich have a few players they need to incorporate into the lineup. While Sadio Mane has settled in well, the lack of complete familiarity is something Eintracht Frankfurt could take advantage of. Nagelsmann cannot afford to be overconfident against a side that proved last season that they can compete against the best.
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) August 3, 2022
Leon Goretzka is out injured, while star winger Kingsley Coman is suspended for the match. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is a doubt for the game, while de Ligt lacks match fitness to start the match. The Dutchman could, however, come off the bench if needed.
The Bavarian giants look set to turn out in a 4-2-3-1 formation on the night. Manuel Neuer is a sure starter in goal and will start behind a back four of Alphonso Davies, Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard.
Joshua Kimmich will start in the holding midfield role alongside Marcel Sabitzer. The latter has stepped in well for Goretzka and will be called upon to repeat his heroics this Friday. Bayern Munich’s attack could have a field day should their midfield duo dictate terms in the middle of the park.
Jamal Musiala is likely to keep his spot on the left, with Serge Gnabry bringing up the other flank. Thomas Muller will act as the connector between the attack and midfield and will start behind Sadio Mane in the centre. Leroy Sane made a difference for Bayern Munich off the bench against Leipzig and could be in line to reprise the role.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Davies, Hernandez, Upamecano, Pavard; Sabitzer, Kimmich; Musiala, Muller, Gnabry; Mane
- Bayern Munich have lost 23 away games against Eintracht Frankfurt. That is tied with Borussia Monchengladbach as their worst away record against any opposition. Meanwhile, Frankfurt have lost 18 home games against Bayern Munich, more than any other opposition in their history.
- Eintracht Frankfurt have picked up nine points from their last six league games against Bayern Munich. Only Borussia Monchengladbach (ten) have secured more during this timeframe.
- Bayern Munich last lost their opening game of the season in 2011. Avoiding defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt will see them match the previous club record of 11 games unbeaten run from 1986-1996.
- Bayern Munich are currently on a three-game winless streak in the Bundesliga. Anything less than three points will see them go four games without a win for the first time since the 2001/02 campaign.
- Bayern Munich have lost just one of their last 12 Bundesliga games. Eintracht Frankfurt, meanwhile, are winless in their previous eight league games.
Player to Watch
The former Liverpool attacker has been one of the finest wingers in Europe in recent years and has also shown the ability to lead the line as a prolific goalscorer. Mane has enjoyed a bright pre-season with Bayern Munich and will be keen to hit the ground running.
Blessed with pace and power, the 30-year-old is a difficult man to keep quiet and can be a handful for the best of defenders. Mane announced himself at Liverpool in style with a marauding run and goal on his league debut against Arsenal at the Emirates. He will be very keen to make sure history repeats itself, this time in the red of Die Roten.
Mane’s form dropped off at Liverpool, and one could argue that it was because of him winning it all at Anfield. Now that he is out of the shadow of Mohamed Salah, it is time for the reigning African Player of the Year to showcase his frightening ability at Bayern Munich.
Sadio Mané has 𝙰𝚁𝚁𝙸𝚅𝙴𝙳! ⚽
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) July 30, 2022
The Senegalese international found the back of the net in the DFL Super Cup and showed a good understanding with his new teammates. There is every reason to believe that he can hit the ground running in the Bundesliga.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 Bayern Munich
The trip to Frankfurt is a difficult starting point for Bayern Munich as they look to land an 11th straight Bundesliga title. The loss of Robert Lewandowski is huge on paper, but Sadio Mane has settled in well, and the Bayern Munich attack looked unstoppable against Leipzig.
Eintracht Frankfurt are a formidable side and have historically been a difficult hosts for Die Roten to secure maximum points against. Oliver Glasner’s men are likely to give Bayern Munich a proper fight and make life difficult for the visitors. Julian Nagelsmann, however, has more quality at his disposal and enough strength in depth to boot. It should push Bayern over the line on the night.